Catholic Church (USA)

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Hearing the Still, Small Voice of Orthodoxy

After his confrontation with Ahab and the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, where he called fire down from heaven and killed those prophets, Elijah fled for his life, first to Beersheba then to Horeb (I Kings 18:16-19:18). At Horeb the Lord appeared to Elijah, but before this appearance, the prophet experienced a powerful windstorm, [...]

What’s Missing in the New Evangelization

With great interest, I listened to the upbeat homilies and presentations online from the U.S. Bishops’ July Convocation on Evangelization. Everyone seemed to be on the same page by emphasizing our call to share the joy of the Gospel; welcome our immigrant brothers and sisters; tend to those in the periphery; accompany people one on [...]

Catholic Ties to the American Public Order Continue to Unravel

It has been clear for quite some time that a new and different public order is taking shape in America in which Catholics (or at least Catholics faithful to the magisterium of the Church) will have serious difficulty finding a comfortable place. The recent election does nothing to change this fact because it does not [...]

The Future Church That Never Was

"The Yankees," said the Hall of Fame center fielder Tris Speaker, "will regret making Babe Ruth into an outfielder." Speaker can be forgiven that colossally errant prediction. Nobody had actually done what Ruth was about to do, changing the game forever by changing the batter’s strategy, "uppercutting" the ball to produce a lot of strikeouts [...]

Is the Church Prepared to Confront the Secular Culture?

The Catholic Church in America (CCA) seems to be unable to play a leading role in fighting the damaging socio-cultural trends of our time and now, for the first time since the colonial era, even faces serious threats to religious liberty. Why is the Church in such a weakened state? Some commentators would single out [...]

Let the Church Be a House of Wonder

Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui laetificat iuventutem meam. I shall go in to the altar of God. To God, the joy of my youth. A few days ago I entered for the first time what some people in the area call the Sistine Chapel of America. There's reason for that. Saint Anne's Church, [...]

The Immigrant Saint: Frances Xavier Cabrini

Americans differ fiercely concerning the role of schools in assimilation: Should we cater to foreign-born students or demand that they learn English? Many believe that immigrants pose serious risks to American wellbeing—and there are disease epidemics and violent crimes to support their argument. The Church itself is caught up in the fray, as Catholics debate [...]

Are Church Leaders Unwittingly Promoting a Secularist Agenda?

Recent developments make me wonder if Church leaders and Catholic institutions in the U.S. are not, “on the unawares,” helping to further crucial parts of the secularist-leftist political and cultural narrative. Several months ago, on a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border one high-ranking prelate criticized “the xenophobic ranting of a segment of the population” on [...]

Catholicism: Refuge for Exiles From a Post-Christian Age

It began in Boston. In 2006, the Boston Archdiocese suspended adoption services rather than comply with a new state anti-discrimination law by placing children with gay and lesbian couples. Last year, a mom-and-pop cake shop in Portland, Oregon closed after lesbian brides-to-be sued after being denied service. At least ten other businesses have faced a [...]

The Apostle of the Rockies: Fr. Pierre-Jean De Smet, SJ

Every year on the Feast of the Assumption, Catholics of native descent hold a powwow at Idaho’s oldest building, Sacred Heart Mission in Cataldo. For more than 150 years the Coeur d’Alenes have handed down the story of the Jesuit missionary who healed their chief’s daughter and brought the gospel to their people. This annual [...]

The Privileged Pauper: St. Katharine Drexel

“One thing I do know: it took the Catholic Church 100 years here in America to show forth such a person as yourself.” Father Augustine Tolton, the first African-American priest in the United States, wrote these words to a wealthy benefactress in 1891, explaining why so many black Catholics were imploring her assistance. Tolton would [...]

Mother Seton: Servant of the Good Teacher

Elizabeth Ann Seton’s deep love for Christ directly shaped our culture to an extent that few Americans have ever have approached. Her extraordinary combination of charity and effectiveness led Pope Paul VI in 1975 to make her the first native-born American to be canonized. She deserves recognition as the first flower of an American Church [...]

Holiness in Photographic Negative: The Life of Blessed Junipero Serra

The 24th of November this year will afford a significant opportunity for North Americans to reflect upon their common past: the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bl. Junipero Serra. In commemoration of the founder of the California missions, the Huntington Library has assembled an exhibition devoted to his life and work, co-curated by [...]

What Happens to American Catholics if the HHS Mandate is Enforced?

For more than a year, Americans have been lauding or protesting the HHS mandate that requires employers to cover contraceptives, including abortifacients, in their insurance policies. Since many employers don’t object to such a policy, the debate has focused on Catholic employers, who have a moral objection to contraception, and therefore to any requirement that [...]

Speaking Truth in Love

Over at Whispers in the Loggia, the hard-working Rocco has an interesting post on Cardinal Wuerl's most recent article on the issue of civil discourse, "Speaking Truth in Love", noting that the cardinal's high-profile (and, as head of the Archdiocese of Washington, unique) position in the American Catholic Church makes his thoughts on the matter [...]

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